Tarsal Coalition

Tarsal coalition is when the two bones in the back of the foot (the tarsal bones) are abnormally connected. This causes a severe flat foot which can lead to pain or limited motion. The two bones grow into each other and become connected by tissue or cartilage. This condition is rare and occurs in 1 out of every 100 people with 50% of cases affecting both feet. Tarsal coalition is developed before birth and is not usually diagnosed until later in life. 

Symptoms of Tarsal Coalition

Though this condition is formed during fetal development, symptoms usually do not occur until the ages of 9-16 when the bones begin to mature. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain while walking or standing. 
  • Fatigued legs.
  • Muscle spasms in the leg that causes the foot to turn outward when walking. 
  • Stiffness in the foot or ankle.
  • Limping while walking.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, Dr. Alec Hochstein is a podiatrist in Manhasset who can help!


X-rays will often be executed along with a physical examination of the feet and ankles. Other tests that can be done are an MRI of the foot or a CT scan.

Treatment options:

The severity of your condition will determine whether you will require surgical or non-surgical treatment. Non-surgical treatment options include:

  • Rest: Taking a break from high impact activity for 3-6 weeks can relieve pain by reducing stress on the tarsal bones
  • Orthotics: Having arch support like shoe inserts can help relieve pain by stabilizing the foot.
  • Temporary Boot/Cast: This helps take off stress from the tarsal bones by immobilizing the foot
  • Injections: Steroid injections can be done on the foot to relieve pain

If symptoms are not relieved with non-surgical treatments, surgical treatment may have to be done. The surgical procedures vary and the doctor will decide which one is best for you based on the size of the bones. Some surgical treatments include:

  • Resection: The coalition replaced with muscle or fatty tissue from other parts of the body. This is the most common surgery for patients with tarsal coalition who do not have any signs of arthritis. 
  • Fusion: This procedure is done for the more severe cases that may also have arthritis. This surgery limits the movement of painful joints and places the bones in their proper position. The bones may be held in place with screws, pins, or plates.

Contact a podiatrist in Manhasset: 

At Great Neck Family Foot Care, our team can help come up with the best treatment plan for you! We have a long list of services that can help you get back on your feet in no time. Make an appointment with our podiatrist in Manhasset today!